Welfare revolution boosting security and stability for all
Getting more people into work, making work pay and ending the benefits culture
will be one of the most important legacies of this Government. More jobs and
money locally and nationally is my passion.
So when I was asked last week
to serve as the Ministerial aide to Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, I had
no hesitation in accepting. I will be working with Iain to help more people find
work and give more people the chance of the stability and security that a job
In past times, many people were thrown onto the scrapheap of
long-term sickness and out-of-work benefits. Little help was provided to find a
job or see what skills they might have to get back into work. Too often excuses
were made about what people couldn't do, rather than what they could do. This
was wrong, heartless and uncaring. That's why I support the Welfare Secretary's
mission to provide more help and tailored support to the unemployed. To help
them every step of the way.
And these policies are already bearing fruit.
There are 1.8 million more people in work since 2010. The number of people
unemployed has fallen by over 370,000 in the same period. In Dover and Deal, the
picture is even more encouraging. Local unemployment has fallen an astonishing
22.5% in the last 12 months. Even better, youth unemployment in Dover and Deal
has plummeted by 31.6%. Visiting the local Natwest last week, I heard how the
economy is recovering. People are finding more work.
We also had a real
problem with households where no-one had ever worked. A life trapped on benefits
was the norm for too many and people could not see light at the end of the
tunnel. That's why I really welcome the fact that there are now 290,000 fewer
children living in workless households and long-term unemployment is down by
48,000 since 2010. Helping to boost aspiration and get people back to work is
something of a quest for me.
It is also something people in Dover and
Deal care about too. People who work hard and pay their taxes want their money
targeted at the most vulnerable. Helping people to find work who have fallen on
hard times. Getting more skills to succeed in life. This is what is now
happening. Jobseekers now have to attend regular interviews and training, or do
work experience to instil a sense of work ethic and get into employment. There
are also tighter controls on recent migrants having access to our benefits
More jobs and money is my priority for Dover and Deal. I strongly
believe in the sort of future we can make in our corner of Kent. A future where
even more people have a crack at life and the opportunity to get on and do
really well. That's why when I was offered this role, I simply could not refuse.